Feeling Stressed? Take Ten.

Every year it seems that when the “holiday season” arrives, people get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and stress sucks the joy right out of what should be a merry month.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take 10 minutes and try one of these methods to relax and reset:

  1. Breathe. I know, it sounds overly simple. But it works! Deep breathing helps our nervous system calm us down. It’s best if the exhale is a little bit longer than the inhale. But the main thing is just to breathe deeply and take a few moments to FOCUS on your breathing. Close your eyes so outside influences don’t infiltrate, and be fully present in the moment. Think of what a gift it is to have clean air, to fill your lungs and know that fresh oxygen will be delivered to every cell of your body.
  2. Listen to music. Soothing, relaxing music. You can find music whose tempo mimics a resting heart-rate, or you can listen to what pleases you.
  3. Meditate. If you don’t want silent, clear-your-mind types of meditation, you can find guided meditations that talk you through it. (You can find relaxation, visualization, and breathing exercises as well.) I like an app called “Insight Timer” because it’s free, and it has many different options to choose from. You can select a theme, and/or tell it how many minutes you have, and it keeps track of your consistency to encourage you to keep up your practice.
  4. Establish a sacred space. Have a “time out” chair or place where you can listen to music, breathe, meditate, journal, etc. without interruption. It doesn’t have to be a whole room; it could be your favorite chair in the corner of your bedroom or anywhere that’s quiet. When you enter that space, you are setting yourself up for successful de-stressing. Light a candle, burn incense, add a fountain or salt lamp, use a zen sand garden if that helps you. Make it your own space for ritual.
  5. Take a bath. Or a shower. Warm water is soothing and cleansing. Use Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils in your favorite scent if you so desire. (If you don’t have a tub to soak in, you can make a scrub with Epsom salts, a little oil, and your favorite essential oil to use in your shower.)
  6. Take a walk. Change your scenery. Get some fresh air! Enjoy nature and get your blood and lymph flowing. A 10-minute walk can change your whole outlook.
  7. Chew gum. Seriously, this can help reduce anxiety and help re-focus your brain.
  8. Pet a dog (or cat, or whatever furry friend you have or have access to). Studies have shown this helps reduce stress and increase feel-good hormone levels.
  9. Phone a friend. Sometimes we just need to vent. If you can meet in person, long hugs are REALLY good at lowering stress levels!
  10. Release. If you need to pray, pray. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to get something out of your system, consider writing it down. I like to journal every day, but another very effective exercise is to write down something you need to offload and then burn the piece of paper you wrote it on. Think of releasing into the smoke any energy that’s no longer working for you, any negativity that surrounds you, any fear that’s holding you back. It’s powerful!
  11. Laugh. Watch a funny video. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine!
  12. Drink a warm beverage. An herbal tea that’s naturally decaffeinated, or even just warm water with a bit of lemon juice or ginger in it, is cleansing and soothing.

You really can reduce your stress level in just ten minutes—or less! If you have more time, book a massage or reflexology session to really help relieve and support your mind and body.

And by all means, give yourself permission to scale back if you want to, and really enjoy the holidays. I love the meme that’s going around that says “Tradition: peer pressure from dead people.” It’s so true! You don’t have to do things a certain way. Do what works best for you.

Wishing you much joy (and less stress) this holiday season. 

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth Posted on December 2, 2019

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